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GOP Senate candidate takes shot at top Trump aide

GOP Senate candidate takes shot at top Trump aide
© Greg Nash

Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSenators offer bill to allow remote online notarizations All congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill MORE (R-N.D.) on Wednesday sought to tamp down Republican concerns about President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE's relationship with Democratic Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE, his general election rival, but took a shot at a top Trump aide in the process.

Speaking to North Dakota radio host Rob Port on 970 WDAY, Cramer pointed the finger at White House legislative director Marc Short for the GOP's stumbles in getting key legislation onto Trump's desk.

"If Marc Short was very good at his job, we’d have a repeal and replacement of ObamaCare, we’d have a replacement of the venting and flaring rule," he said, referring to an Obama-era rule dealing with natural gas.

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Politico first reported on Cramer's interview.

Shot at Short stems from Trump's relationship with Heitkamp, whom Cramer is looking to unseat in November.

Despite the White House's role helping to prod Cramer into the Senate race, Trump has played nice with Heitkamp. He called her onto the stage at a tax event in North Dakota last year and his staff invited her to a bill signing last week at the White House.

Republicans have quietly expressed concern that the episodes give Heitkamp ammunition for her campaign in a state Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016. Her campaign released an ad this week quoting Senate Republicans praising her.

Responding to those concerns raised most recently in a Politico story, Cramer called it "flattering" that Heitkamp is trying to act like a Republican.

"Why would you need a Republican wannabe if you can have the Republican?" he asked.

The Politico story quoted Short explaining that he invited Heitkamp because she is an original cosponsor of the banking bill. He added that Trump will be "actively campaigning in North Dakota this cycle" because Heitkamp is not a regular supporter of Trump's agenda.

During the radio appearance, Cramer chalked up the concerns about Trump and Heitkamp to a debate inside the White House.

"There are some people in the White House that think the president has been too friendly to her," Cramer said.